A Little (Chamber) Music, Please

Cara Modisett and Benedict Goodfriend play chamber music in a divine setting.
Cara looks intently at the music as she plays.

If I’ve missed anything as much as a good hug in the past seven or eight months, it is the performing arts. I ran into my old blues bud Carey Hurley downtown this week and he talked enthusiastically about just having visited New Orleans. He had me on the edge of my seat talking about the food and the music.

Yesterday evening my pal Susan and I went to the Six Feet Apart Recital Festival at a private home in Hollins and it was the first event of real cultural significance I’ve been to since I first heard the words COVID 19. And it was delightful, even though I’m not a fan of either solo violin or chamber music, mostly because I don’t understand either. I am a fan of being outside among people who appreciate the arts.

Susan gets ready for the music.

There was no real crowd to speak of, just five or six people who wanted to sit and listen, two musicians and a guy who turned pages for my friend Cara Modisett as she played the piano. She accompanied renowned violinist Benedict Goodfriend of the Kandinsky Trio as they played selections by Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Paganini, Sibelius, and others for about 45 minutes. Goodfriend played his 1908 Scarampella violin.

That’s me doing what I do as Mr. Goodfriend tells us about what he’s getting ready to play.

It was not a crowded hall with all the excitement that brings, but it was certainly a delightful experience and I got to see my good friend Cara, which has been a rare treat lately. Cara is the original master of all trades and now she is seeking yet another master’s degree, this one a theological effort toward becoming an Episcopal Priest. She is already an accomplished writer, musician, editor and heaven knows (so to speak) what else.

Cara and Mr. Goodfriend will be back on the pitch today at 2:30 and 4 p.m. at 7025 Ardmore Drive in Roanoke. A contribution of $10 is optional.

Cara greets Susan before the concert.
A friendly and a smile (I’m guessing) from Cara.
Pages turned for my pal Cara.
Benedict Goodfriend: Virtuoso.
Mr. Goodfriend is intent despite the dang mask.
A lovely sight during a pandemic.



By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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